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How To Know If Your Pelvis Is Out Of Alignment – Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a condition in which weakened pelvic floor muscles cause one or more organs in your pelvis (vagina, uterus, bladder, and rectum) to droop. In more severe cases, an organ swells into another organ or outside your body. Your health care provider can recommend treatments to repair your prolapse and relieve symptoms.
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when your bladder, urethra, rectum, small intestine, uterus, or vagina slip out of place.
How To Know If Your Pelvis Is Out Of Alignment
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a condition in which your pelvic floor (the muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support your pelvic organs) becomes too weak to support your organs. Your pelvic floor muscles act as a powerful sling that supports organs like your vagina, uterus, bladder, and rectum. If these muscles become too loose or damaged, the organs they support shift out of place.
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With mild cases of POP, your organs may drop. In more severe cases, they can extend outside your vagina and cause swelling.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a type of pelvic floor disorder that causes incontinence. Sometimes these other disorders occur together with POP.
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The type of prolapse you have depends on where your pelvic floor weakness is and which organs are affected.
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People of all genders can experience POP, but you’re at higher risk if you’re female or female at birth (AFAB). Males and individuals assigned male at birth (AMAB) may experience prolapse of the bladder and prolapse of the rectum.
3% to 11% of AFAB individuals experience POP. About 37% of people with pelvic floor disorders, including POP, are between the ages of 60 and 79. More than half are 80 or older. POP does not always cause symptoms. As a result, it is difficult to know how common POP is among people who do not see their health care providers for symptom relief.
The most common symptom is feeling like something is falling out of your vagina. Other symptoms include:
Your symptoms depend on where your prostate is located. Telling your health care provider about your symptoms will help them find where your pelvic floor is weakest.
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Stress incontinence, incontinence, and faecal incontinence often coexist with POP because they share similar risk factors. Symptoms include:
Your pelvic floor can become weak for many reasons. A weak pelvic floor increases your chances of prolapse.
During your appointment, your healthcare provider will review your symptoms and perform a pelvic exam. During the exam, your provider may ask you to cough when you’re straining and when you’re relaxed so they can see the full extent of your prolapse. They may examine you while you are lying down and while you are standing up. Often, a pelvic exam is needed to diagnose a prolapse.
The Popic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) system classifies POP based on how mild or severe your prolapse is. The scale ranges from zero to four. Phase zero means that your organs have not shifted at all. Stage four means you have a full-on cliffhanger. A complete cliff is the worst type. It may include an organ that comes out of your body.
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Because any surgical procedure can carry risks or complications, nonsurgical procedures are usually the first line of treatment for POP. If more conservative treatments don’t work, your provider may recommend surgery.
Surgery may be an option if your symptoms have not improved with conservative treatment and you no longer wish to have children. Giving birth after surgery increases your risk of prolapse again.
There are two types of surgery: excision surgery and reconstructive surgery. The removal surgery closes the walls of your vagina, preventing the organs from slipping out. Reconstructive surgery repairs weakened parts of your pelvic floor.
Your provider may suggest additional procedures while you are having surgery for POP. For example, some procedures may require a hysterectomy to be able to access and repair the pelvic floor muscles. Your provider may treat other conditions that may accompany POP, such as stress urinary incontinence, during surgery.
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Many causes of POP are out of your control. But you can adopt healthy habits to reduce your risk.
Your prognosis depends on your prolapse (where it’s located, how severe it is) and your goals (having children, continuing to have sex, having minimally invasive surgery, etc.). Talk to your healthcare provider about how your prolapse may shape your treatment options. Discuss how the benefits of treatment will allow you to achieve your goals, and ask about any risks that may prevent you from achieving them. Basing your expectations on honest conversations with your provider will improve your experience with POP.
If left untreated, your prolapse and your symptoms may worsen. Your health care provider can monitor your prolapse and recommend treatment if it progresses to the point where it is negatively affecting your quality of life.
Many people with POP describe a feeling of swelling, fullness, or pressure in their vagina, as if something is falling out. Your symptoms depend on what type of prolapse you have and how severe it is.
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Common symptoms or problems related to incontinence, such as pressure or fullness in your vagina, may be signs of an erection. Your provider can detect POP during a pelvic exam.
It can be done with treatment. With a gentle POP, you can strengthen your muscles, which hold the organs in their correct places. Reconstructive surgery strengthens weaknesses in your pelvic walls so your organs return to their original positions.
With more severe prolapse, you may have to push the bulging organ out of the way to defecate or urinate. The fix is temporary. If your prolapse is severe enough, see your healthcare provider for treatment.
Pelvic prolapse can damage your body image and your sexuality. It can cause symptoms that prevent you from living your life to the fullest. But POP is not something you should accept. Don’t be shy to talk to your healthcare provider if you have POP symptoms or if you suspect you have a weak pelvic floor. They can suggest procedures, medical devices, and even lifestyle changes that can restore your prolapse and improve your quality of life. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when the pelvic organs drop below their original position. It is a very common condition, especially among older women.
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This condition occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are weak or damaged and can no longer support the pelvic organs. POP can involve the pelvic organs, including:
Also called an anterior prolapse or cystocele, a bladder prolapse occurs when the wall between your bladder and vagina becomes stretched and weakened.
This weakening of the wall causes the bladder to drop down and press against your vagina. This can cause you to feel a constant urge to urinate and experience problems emptying your bladder, such as urinary retention.
Rectal prolapse is also known as posterior vaginal prolapse or rectocele. This condition occurs when the fascia (fibrous tissue that acts as a wall to separate the anus from the vagina) weakens and causes swelling in the wall of your vagina.
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A variety of conditions can increase the risk of rectal prolapse, primarily chronic constipation, chronic coughing, pregnancy and childbirth that can put pressure on your pelvic floor.
Although small swellings may cause no symptoms and rarely cause pain, it is still important to get it checked out by your doctor, especially when the swelling becomes more noticeable and uncomfortable.
A small bowel prolapse, or enterocele, is a form of POP where the small bowel descends into your lower pelvis and presses on the upper part of your vagina, causing a bulge.
A mild to moderate small bowel prolapse may not cause any signs and symptoms, and often, the only way to know you have the condition is to go for a pelvic exam.
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Urinary incontinence is also known as urinary incontinence. This condition occurs when the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body) descends into your vagina and prolapses.
When the muscles and tissues that support your urethra are damaged by pregnancy, prolonged labor, or menopause, the urethra expands and curves downward, pressing against your vagina.
Like a prolapsed bladder, a cyst can cause urination problems such as difficulty passing urine and emptying the bladder completely.
Like other forms of POP, uterine prolapse is caused by conditions and activities that put pressure on your pelvic floor.
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When there is too much pressure on your pelvis, the muscles and tissues that hold the uterus in place weaken. This allows the uterus to slip from its normal position and bend down into your vagina or birth canal.
Prolapse results from continued weakening of the supporting tissues of the pelvic organs. This weakening can be caused by:
Treatment of pelvic organ prolapse can also cause some complications. For example, a pessary (a removable device placed in the vagina) can cause vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, and ulceration of the vaginal epithelium.
Similarly, complications after surgery for POP are rare,
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